37. Modern Technology Can Promote Egotism or Worse
In a world consumed by social media and “smart”phones,* which promote being both self-centered and removed from the input of non-virtual others, living egotistically is easy. In fact, worse than egotistic, excessive “smart”phone usage (such as selfie, after selfie, after selfie) may be narcissistic!
Further, our modern world may offer lesser repercussions against egotism. For instance, if one’s selfishness caused someone to lose all his or her friends, one can, thereafter—and unlike in the past, when one would have to make amends and learn a lesson—find new friends online even instantly.
Also, consider what happens to a youth’s impressionable mind (or even to an adult’s seasoned mind) when (1) he or she is reading an awful news account—say, about a famine or a massacre—on a “smart”phone,* tablet, or a computer’s Internet; and (2) suddenly, onscreen, pops up an advertisement for a relatively vain or extravagant item.
Of course, such pops-ups are designed to get readers to click; and, many readers do. Consequently, the awful famine or massacre is trivialized because the vain or extravagant item overshadowing the news story is perceived by the clicker as more significant. This combination of the Internet and advertising—which, without any reader prompting, can override stories about serial killers with jolly announcements—can be creating pathological, social monsters via the trivialization of what is, in truth, most important.
When Barak Obama was the U.S. President, he fought for Internet access for all Americans with a program called ConnectHome. At such a time, I remember seeing related-to-that-program literature that mentioned Obama’s shock and horror of such-and-such a percentage of Americans not having home Internet access. However, I do not think that the then President, prior to his decision to promote ConnectHome, could have fully recognized the above-discussed concerns.
(After writing, in its draft form, the previous paragraph, it was reported that, in late December of 2017, Obama, in an interview with Britain’s Prince Harry, expressed concern about online social-media abuse. Therefore, and thankfully, the former President seems, to some degree, to have repented of his previously headstrong push for all-out Internet access.)
* Quotes surround “smart” because these phones, despite bringing marvelous and never-before-imagined abilities to the palm of a hand, can—such as with those who have highly regretted certain emails or tweets—promote idiocy.